I am returned from NYC for about ten days already, but am still unpacking thoughts from the trip. The Creative Time Summit was more than a hoot. The Skirball Center atmosphere was charged; a daylong drenching rain could not douse the energy.
Speaking of Theaster, the Creative Time exhibition that opened on the same weekend, Living As Form, included a display from the Dorchester Project. Among the items shown was an example of the hate mail Theaster has received. Racist hate mail is always shocking.
I was there to say something about the Wisconsin Uprising. Why me, out of the hundreds of thousands who participated in the events in Wisconsin? As I told people in NY, I think I am the only person Nato Thompson, chief curator at Creative Time, knew who lives in Madison. Here is the video of my eight minutes at the lectern.
The Occupy Wall Street camp-out was already going on by the time of the Summit. Nato made reference to OWS from the stage several times, encouraging conference attendees to go down to Liberty Plaza to see for themselves what was happening.
I made it down twice, on Thursday, my first evening in NY, and on Sunday, my last afternoon. In between was Saturday, the first day of mass arrests–some 80 people–and the widely seen instance of police terrorism in which one Tony Baloney, unprovoked, maced a couple of young women. This was a turning point for OWS, bringing media attention, galvanizing the activists, and presenting the suddenly serious question: what next?
On Sunday, when about 40 of us from the Summit went down to OWS as a group, Gerald Raunig hatched the idea of pulling together a quickly produced e-zine of some sort, with poetic and analytical texts about and relevant to OWS written in the moment, and in anticipation of the struggle yet to develop. I pledged a text, and here it is, on the EIPCP website.